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Ancient Roman Politics. The Vestals – Women’s Empowerment

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  • Maria Sousa Galito

Abstract

Vestals had political and religious power in ancient Rome. Their peaceful presence at the forum was one of the first attempts (if not the first) in favor of gender equality or women’s empowerment in the public sphere. Vestals were virgin priestesses of a goddess that protected the walls of Rome with her perpetual fire, which was pure and had no statue. Their rituals were based on legends such as Amata or Rhea Silvia that, regardless of being true or not, were religious and cultural references for people's lives and should not be neglected, because they contain information that explains why the State respected the vestals and punished them so severely.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Sousa Galito, 2018. "Ancient Roman Politics. The Vestals – Women’s Empowerment," CEsA Working Papers 167, CEsA - Centre for African and Development Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:cav:cavwpp:wp167
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    Keywords

    Vestals; roman antiquity; politics; religion.;
    All these keywords.

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